In July 1997, legislation was passed requiring all new and significantly renovated homes to have adequate Brisbane Smoke Alarms installed. Any homes built prior to July 1997 are now required to have battery powered smoke alarms installed. All properties must have, at a minimum, a smoke alarm outside sleeping areas, and one on each level of the house. Keep in mind that these are legal minimums, and additional recommendations by the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service are available.
As Smoke Alarms Brisbane specialists, we ensure we follow all these safety requirements when installing any smoke alarms, and we ensure that we are always up to date with the latest requirements too.
There is no restriction on what type of smoke alarms need to be installed (except for the requirements of new houses to have alarms wired into the mains power). This means that home owners retro-fitting smoke alarms have the options of mains or battery powered, long life battery or short, and ionisation or photoelectric alarms. Mains powered smoke alarms only have the choice between ionisation and photoelectric alarms. None of these options are regulated by legislation, and it is up to home owners to choose the best option for their property.
What are ionisation and photoelectric smoke alarms?
Ionisation smoke alarms detect smoke by ‘feeling’ the invisible particles coming from a fire. These alarms activate more quickly for fast fires.
Photoelectric smoke alarms instead detect the visible particles of smoke. Unlike ionisation alarms which ‘feel’ the smoke, photoelectric alarms ‘see’ the smoke. The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service recommend photoelectric smoke alarms over ionisation alarms due to research indicating that they are the better technology.
For those with a battery powered smoke alarm (ionisation or photoelectric), it is essential to regularly replace the battery. Many smoke alarms require batteries to be replaced every year. The Queensland Fire Service runs an annual campaign reminding people to replace batteries in their smoke alarms.